Last week’s most-read expert call transcripts featured innovative leaders and experts in telecom, technology, healthcare, retail, ecommerce and more. Read on for transcript summaries and links to access their full versions.
Nevro Corp. (NVRO)
Nevro Corp. is a California-based medical device company that develops product solutions for chronic pain. They recently disrupted traditional spinal cord stimulation (SCS) treatment practices with their 10 kHz therapy approach, which uses high-frequency stimulation to provide pain relief without paresthesia. It’s currently used by tens of thousands of patients globally.
Ocean Pain & Wellness current Executive Medical Director sat down to discuss why they use Nevro over other competitors and factors that could take away some of its market share. Mainly, better rep communication and customer service made Nevro this provider’s first choice over competitors like Boston Scientific.
It’s likely that Nevro will lose some marketing share as competitor technologies related to MRI compatibility and pain relief without paresthesia catch up. Nevro’s newer SCS for painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) technology is promising but will face challenges getting to market until insurance companies approve it at a higher rate.
CVS Health Corp. (CVS)
CVS Health Corp. owns and operates more than 10,000 retail pharmacies across the United States with a network of 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and nurse practitioners. Former CVS Health Senior Director sits down to discuss the Aetna/CVS partnership and the potential competitive risks posed to retail pharmacies by big tech companies.
This expert sees an opportunity for CVS and Aetna to enhance their partnership by better leveraging data to connect programs and strategies with likely health outcomes.
Amazon stands to be a major competitor to retail pharmacies down the line thanks to its unparalleled delivery speed and pandemic-induced customer preferences to not visit physical stores. In the further future (2030s and 2040s) Apple’s positioning as the most trusted data provider could put them ahead of the pack as consumers turn to apps and wearable tech to monitor health.
RVRC Holding AB (RVRC-SS)
RVRC Holding AB (RevolutionRace) sells outdoor active apparel made to remain durable over many years and through encounters with tough weather and terrain. The company’s former COO discusses why the company’s D2C business model gives them a competitive advantage.
By communicating directly with consumers at scale, RevolutionRace has built a strong connection to their products and brand and a loyal community of customers. This has lent itself to effective influencer marketing, among other successes. It would be difficult for competitors to replicate this model after building their business operations around B2B relationships.
RevolutionRace has not yet penetrated the U.S. market, and this expert predicts it will take time for the company to adjust to differences in sizing, fit, and fashion between U.S. and Europe.
Domo, Inc. (DOMO)
Domo’s BI platform allows companies to integrate data from any source to create visualizations, automate data pipelines, build custom apps, and uncover insights that make data actionable. Current CFO and CIO at Danaco Solutions, a Domo customer, sees value in their higher upfront costs, which are offset later by pricing advantages after integrations and add-ons.
Despite some frustrations with Domo’s customer support, this expert finds its ease of use and plug-and-play integrations to give it advantages over competitors. BI’s platform reporting and alert functionality are additional benefits that help users solve problems more quickly.
Gores Guggenheim Inc (GGPI)
Gores Guggenheim Inc. (The Gores Group) is an investment firm that operates as a blank check company, acquiring assets via a number of methods including direct acquisition, merger, capital stock exchange, and reorganization. In this featured interview, the former CDIO from Polester, a recent Gores acquisition, discusses the company’s current competitive landscape and risks.
Polestar is a Sweden-based electric performance car brand with an ESG focus. Since its founding in 1996 it has built a strong brand, culture, and product, but currently sits in the second tier of elective vehicle brands, behind Tesla and NIO. Still, this expert believes its sales forecasts are too conservative.
Warby Parker Inc (WRBY)
Warby Parker is a leading American online retailer of glasses and contacts. Originally founded to operate primarily online, it now also sells through 150+ of its own retail locations. Former Financial Planning and Analysis Manager from Safilo, a Warby Parker competitor, discussed the company’s current industry leader status and the COVID-19 impact on the eyewear industry.
During the initial months of the pandemic, this expert reports that sales dropped up to 70% as customers were unable to visit primary doctors to get prescriptions. For many companies it resulted in layoffs and furloughs. While 2021 saw the return of pent-up demand, the industry faced supply chain issues that delayed or halted production in some cases.
Moving toward the future, this expert believes Warby Parker will be the industry leader in meeting demands of Gen Z audiences for more sustainably-made products and technologies that create new possibilities for customization.
Visa Inc (V)
In this interview, former Visa Vice President & Head of Visa Ventures discusses current attempts to disrupt the payments industry with new alternatives to traditional credit and debit cards. This expert sees more competition in the payments space now than any other time in the last few decades.
Payment networks such as Paypal or Stripe or even direct account-to-account payments are becoming increasingly popular. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) poses a particular risk to credit card networks by allowing consumers to settle their bill with BNPL providers via debit payments.
A potential future competitive advantage for Visa will be increased monetization of their data and analytics products for banks and other corporate entities.
Coupang Inc (CPNG)
Coupang is a Korean-based end-to-end e-commerce and logistics network. Founded in 2010, it is now the largest online marketplace in Korea and is also incorporated in the United States. This interview features a former manager from Coupang competitor Lotte Shopping Co., Ltd.
While Coupang may be the largest in size, this expert sees it as the number three ecommerce provider in Korea behind Naver and eBay. The ecommerce competitive landscape is crowded in Korea, and success of individual brands depends somewhat on niche products, geography, or user preferences (for instance, ZigZag is more popular with millennials and Gen Z).
This expert believes Coupang’s extensive logistics network may not be as big of an advantage as some believe given the market’s saturation and low levels of customer loyalty in Korea to one ecommerce platform.
Verizon Communications Inc (V)
Verizon is one of the largest communications services providers around the world. Former Vice President of Strategy, Planning, and Development at leading Verizon competitor, Comcast, sat down to discuss how cable and broadband will compete in an increasingly competitive telecom landscape.
While growth opportunities still exist for cable providers, especially in rural areas, companies will need to think of ways to innovate to keep customers from jumping ship, either to another provider or indirect competitors like streaming services. Newer technologies like 5G fixed wireless networks and fiber overlay do present competitive risks to broadband providers, but it isn’t an imminent replacement threat for traditional broadband.
The lack of inventory in the housing market has presented short-term growth challenges to cable and broadband providers as of late, but this expert predicts that problem will right itself over time.
Charter Communications Inc (CHTR)
Charter Communications is an American telecommunications and mass media leader branded publicly as Spectrum. Of note, they acquired Time Warner Cable in 2016. In this interview, a former Charter Executive Producer sat down to discuss the competitive landscape in the cable industry — particularly how cable providers stack up to streaming platforms.
In short, streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and Disney have become the superior content creators. This expert sees attempts by cable companies to create similar platforms likely futile. And while appointment TV viewing is one remaining way cable companies competitively position their offerings, consumer behavior indicates that demand for it will diminish over time.
Cable providers will need to find ways to innovate around product bundles and pricing in order to stay competitive.
NeoGames SA (NGMS)
NeoGames is an online lottery software and service provider that develops e-instant win games for national and state-regulated lotteries. This interview is with the Director of Asian Operations for NeoGames competitor, Inspired Gaming Group.
NeoGames operates primarily in the United States. Because the U.S. requires iLottery vendors to follow its rules and regulations in every area of operation, NeoGames has been hesitant to expand to some international markets, such as Asia.
From a product perspective, NeoGames stands to benefit from its recent merger with Aspire Global, which has the right backend platforms to enhance current product offerings and user experience.
Cardlytics Inc (CDLX)
Cardlytics is a digital advertising solution that partners with banks and financial institutions. Their value proposition is centered on purchase intelligence, or the ability to see a high-level, data-driven view of consumer spend. Former Cardlytics Senior Director of Product Management sat down to discuss the company’s recent successes and potential risk of reaching their ARPU and engagement ceiling with clients.
Cardlytics has remained innovative in an industry where speed of innovation and adoption is slow and often not linear. It has faced a significant challenge, however, in that it doesn’t actually own or control the platform on which ads run (like, say, Facebook Ads or Google Ads).
Going forward, Cardlytics’ growth could be limited by continued barriers created by data privacy regulations and banks deprioritizing the Cardlytics platform on their digital real estate.
PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL)
PayPal was founded in 1998 and today has continually been a pioneer in the digital payments space, providing affordable, convenient, and trusted online payment options to companies and individual consumers alike. In this interview, former PayPal Brazil CEO discusses how the new instant payment system implemented by Brazil’s Central Bank stands to disrupt existing financial networks.
This expert reports that Brazil’s central bank is operating with a strategic agenda, demonstrated through their launch of the Pix instant payment platform in November 2020, amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Today, Pix is the primary competitor for PayPal in Brazil with over 120 million users and an unbeatable price: free.
Colfax Corp (CFX)
Colfax Corp is a diversified technology company that partners with clients in a wide range of industries to build customized solutions. Former Director of Marketing and Product Management for Colfax subsidiary, ESAB, sat down to discuss its challenges breaking into the North American market.
ESAB manufactures cutting and welding equipment and operates primarily in Europe. Their European-focused products and marketing strategies have so far held them back from gaining traction in U.S. markets. ESAB is an innovative organization, but even its best leaders have faced challenges breaking through the North American market’s fixed perception and loyalty to competitor brands like Lincoln and Miller.
Canopy Growth Corporation (CGC)
Canopy Growth is a Canadian-founded cannabis company with a strong focus on social issues like personal health and wellness, social justice, and economic opportunity. They distribute cannabis products via a number of brands that fall within different niches. In this interview, former Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer from Canopy Growth competitor, Village Farms LP, discusses the current state of the cannabis industry.
Thanks to wide perception in the early phases of cannabis industry growth that it would be hard to get, a huge cannabis surplus now exists. Still, complexities related to extraction, regulation, and distribution continue to present challenges for both established cannabis brands and new industry entrants. Many investors, including big players like MillerCoors, Constellation, and Philip Morris, have lost money after companies could not fulfill the promises they made about their ability to navigate this complicated landscape.
Intuit Inc (INTU)
Intuit is an American leader in financial software solutions. This interview features a former Senior Finance Manager from Intuit competitor, FreshBooks, who discusses how Intuit is winning on the market with its Quickbooks solution.
Quickbooks has dominated the cloud accounting space, and others in the industry are still trying to catch up. FreshBooks has somewhat successfully created some differentiation by focusing on sole proprietors and their unique needs.
According to this expert, continued evolution of the payments and digital accounting space will likely lead to bundled financial services offerings and ecosystem products, such as China’s WeChat.
Spotify Technology S.A. (SPOT)
Spotify is one of the largest online music and audio streaming platforms, with more than 406 million users worldwide. Former Vice President from iHeartMedia, a leading Spotify competitor, discusses how advertiser acquisition has presented growth challenges for music streaming platforms.
Overall, this expert believes brands will allocate more dollars to advertising on digital audio platforms in the future. Platforms themselves face challenges surrounding the time-intensive nature of acquiring new advertisers and maintaining current ones.
There is also a balancing act between pushing the ad-free paid subscription model to users while trying to demonstrate the value of advertising on a platform to brands. Going forward, the highest ROI will be in advertiser retention rather than new acquisition.
D.R. Horton Inc (DHI)
D.R. Horton is a home construction company and currently the largest homebuilder (by volume) in the United States. In this interview, the company’s former Vice President of Land Acquisition and development discusses what they believe to be a continued structural housing shortage in the U. S.
According to this expert, we’re at the tail end of the pandemic-induced extreme housing price inflation. It’s likely we’ll soon see more typical YOY housing price increases more reflective of increased cost of living. Demand for new housing, too, will level off to pre-COVID numbers.
For now, resistance from municipalities to new housing development and an aversion to affordable housing are contributing to the housing inventory shortage across the country.
Coupang Inc (CPNG)
Here Coupang appears again on our list, this time from an interview with their former Private Label Marketing & Design Director. They discuss the huge opportunity that exists through Coupang’s last-mile delivery service, Rocket Delivery, to accelerate their business as consumer demand for nearly immediate delivery grows.
After living in the U.S. for several years, this expert finds Korea’s ecommerce delivery speed and IT technologies to be overall superior to the United States.
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)
DRESSX is pioneering a new type of fashion consumption — digital fashion — that allows consumers to upload their photos and choose digital fashions from their online selection. It’s a brand new type of emerging technology still yet to show its full potential on the market.
Activision Blizzard has more than a decade of experience with metaverse-like environments through games like World of Warcraft. This expert sees Microsoft’s acquisition of the company as part of a larger strategy to gain access to metaverse technology as well as user data and experiences, with the eventual goal to create their own metaverse worlds.
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